Hiking Adventures, Presidio National Park

San Francisco is a unique place to live.  Not just because we have three containers for our trash, or are more likely to take public transportation as we are to drive, or that we welcome the expressions of the weird, the strange, the uncommon and the nude; it is the love for a breathing contradiction of dissimilar things in harmony and the resultant creativity that stems from such tension.

For example, the landscape changes considerably from mile to mile; from downtown high rise glass covered buildings to pastel townhouses by the beach, San Francisco has a combination of cosmopolitan luxury and earthy-outdoorsy opportunity.  This past weekend, I took a short jaunt over to Presidio for a leisurely hike to the Golden Gate Bridge.

National Cemetary, Presidio, San Francisco

The Presidio is an urban national park in the northern area of San Francisco, right below the Golden Gate Bridge, and hosts a wealth of history as a US Army post for more than 150 years.  Still within the grounds are a national cemetery and a historic airfield.  You can tour decades of military architecture and hear stories from the 1915 World Fair.

Presidio Bay Area Ridge Trail

For two hours I wandered on the Presidio Bay Area Ridge Trail, covering roughly 5 miles, taking in beautiful views of the Bay and surprisingly lush forests of the Presidio.  The trail was mostly flat, encouraging runners, ramblers (such as myself), and bicyclers.  I was almost run over by two eager young boys on bikes, followed by their apologetically smiling parents, but mostly found the hiking relaxing.  There is something whimsically wonderful to escape the feel of city life without ever really leaving it.

Presidio View, Pacific Ocean

EveryTrail is a great resource if you’re looking for hikes in your local area, including most major U.S. parks.  They also have an iPhone app you can download maps and trails to (in the event you think you might get lost) or to simply track your progress.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Without a doubt, I feel blessed to live here.

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